What constitutes success? This is something that (over) occupies my thoughts. Is it money? Is it a relationship? Is it health? Is it body type? Is it mostly in our control or entirely up to fate? Obviously I have too much time on my hands. Does that mean I’m successful because I can, occasionally, be leisurely, or would running myself ragged on a fast track to financial fortune mean I’ve made it?
This morning, as I combed through hundreds of emails from my would-be friends at Net-a-Porter, One Kings Lane and Williams-Sonoma, I came across an article titled “The Weekend Routines of 7 Successful Women.” Now, I’ve seen articles like this before, and I’ve read them hoping for an epiphany, or at least a roadmap. I mean, too much to ask?! But something about this one struck a nerve.
Maybe it was the focus on women, confronting again the truth about how our success is measured. As a woman who spends more time caring for her kids than earning a paycheck (I do not call myself a stay-at-home mom, it’s too loaded for me and I’m basically in denial over it anyway), I (finally) took umbrage at the long-held, oft-nurtured idea that to be successful, we have to make a measureable impact outside the walls of our homes, or beyond our circle of knowable friends and family.
Maybe I’m just protesting too much because I had, and then didn’t have, that kind of success. But whatever has driven me to bend your ear and punish my keyboard over it, here I am, speaking up again for the women who choose, or are thrust into, a life where ensuring the health and wellbeing of the little people she bore, is her primary raison d’être. This is not to say that women who work full time aren’t fully devoted moms. Of course they are! It’s just that they get the lion’s share of applause for their significant efforts.
Less celebrated are the mothers who stay mostly behind the scenes. Well I say if your kids are (mostly) happy, as healthy as the vagaries of life allow, always loved and cared for, and you’re the person who makes that happen every day, then gosh darn it all, you’re a successful woman and I want to read the article that says so! This one’s a start. What is your measure of success? Please chime in. Unless you’re busy changing a diaper or preparing dinner for you family, in which case, I applaud your success.